Consumer Financial Services
Financial institutions and companies have been providing useful, life-changing credit products, deposit accounts, online features, debt collection, and processing services to customers across the country. Despite business strategies that fit hand-and-glove to enhance the consumers’ well-being, government oversight—oftentimes unchartered with multi-agency efforts—can potentially obstruct benefits from reaching the very consumers that the government seeks to protect.
Businesses in the financial industry need a solution. They require skilled counsel and guidance to respond to the government with candor and neutralize the impact of misplaced assumptions. Businesses also need experienced-driven perspectives to inform their decision-making, including effective mitigation strategies to protect business lines and the residual impacts from enforcement activity, which can often arise in the form of shareholder suits, follow-on consumer class action cases, debilitating hits to hard-earned customer loyalty and reputation, Congressional inquiries, or discipline enacted by the board. Most of all, retail finance companies need certainty and finality, so they can swiftly address compliance concerns if any exist, and return to doing what they do best—serving their customers.
We focus on you. We are your legal partners in the financial services industry for all things consumer. Our team advises a broad array of industries, including banks, lenders, consumer reporting agencies or data furnishers, student loan, auto finance, debt recovery agencies, and any retailers that offer consumer financing options in-store or online.
Arent Fox attorneys descend upon any consumer-related issues that have arisen before enforcement agencies to immediately identify the key drivers of the pain point between the company and the government, tailor a solution to achieve a client’s short-term and long-term objectives, and execute the plan to completion. Because we immerse ourselves in the client’s world, we are not only stewards of the facts, but trusted advisers using our legal and regulatory expertise to swiftly resolve government issues.
As former regulators, first-chair attorneys who previously led investigations, and top litigators, we know what the government is looking for and how to assuage concerns in an effective way that is in harmony with your own commitment to ethics and protecting the consumer experience.
Whether in the bank supervisory phase, enforcement CID phase, public litigation phase, or regulatory compliance counseling phase, we are able to deliver to clients the nuanced advice and services they need to lead the business to greater certainty and resolution.
How We Can Help
Enforcement & Litigation
Our team defends clients in complex enforcement litigation matters involving federal or state consumer financial statutes, class actions, and government investigations, including matters before the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Federal Trade Commission, the state banking or financial departments (e.g., California Department of Business Oversight, the New York Department of Financial Services), the state attorneys general, county district attorney investigations, as well as Congressional inquiries.
We regularly negotiate compliance with Civil Investigative Demands (CIDs) from the government, prepare witnesses for investigational hearings, and guide clients through the PARR Letter or NORA Letter process near the conclusion of an examination or investigation. Utilizing our insider knowledge of the CFPB, we are able to help companies through the most challenging, high-stakes proceedings.
In addition, we represent companies in the defense of consumer class actions arising out of financial services regulations. Our enforcement and litigation work spans the country given our nationwide reach and federal/state expertise.
Our team also represents businesses in policy-setting and rulemaking meetings with the government officials tasked with drafting new regulations. Leveraging our understanding of the complex array of federal and state banking and consumer finance laws, we advise companies during the development of new consumer financial services products to ensure they comply with all regulatory standards.
Regulatory Counseling & Due Diligence
Arent Fox advises financial services clients in regulatory matters involving federal and state regulators. This includes developing, reviewing, and monitoring internal compliance programs, policies, and procedures.
We also oversee transaction structuring and conduct regulatory due diligence for clients who are considering acquisitions or strategic alliances with other financial services companies. Throughout all these activities, we work to develop a streamlined regulatory approach that reflects our clients’ business objectives so they can continue to grow in this competitive industry.